Set your Tivos: The second season of Cartoon Network’s wild and wonderful superhero saga Frisky Dingo begins tonight (or more precisely, tomorrow morning) at midnight. [The season 2 premiere is also posted on the Adult Swim website.] The New York Times ran a great review when the series premiered. In a nutshell:
“If the staplers in â€œThe Officeâ€ were replaced by laser guns, and the sitcom were directed by Quentin Tarantino, the results would look a lot like â€œFrisky Dingo,â€ an outrageous animated series that makes its debut on the Cartoon Networkâ€™s Adult Swim lineup tomorrow night.”
“But the appeal of ‘Dingo’ isnâ€™t visual; itâ€™s verbal, a delicious bricolage of corporate jargon and superhero clichÃ©s. When [super-villain] Killface isnâ€™t killing, or threatening to, heâ€™s complaining about office supplies (“Not a thing dry-erase about that,” he sighs, trying to smudge the writing on a white-board) or making magical discoveries, like the fact that PC stands for personal computer. “I just got that!” he says with childlike wonder.”
“‘Dingo’ (the name apparently means nothing here) plays with tone and audience expectations at every turn. The bad guy can be endearing; the good guy can be a horror. The violence makes the jokes funnier, and the jokes divorce the violence from a moral context. With a light comic touch, ‘Dingo’ expresses some terrifying truths about the corporate world. Not to worry, though. Itâ€™s just business.”
If you haven’t been following the story thus far, there’s still time to catch up; iTunes has the complete first season available to download (for the bargain price of $14.99). And with each episode clocking in at about eleven minutes, you’ll be able to make it through all thirteen episodes with time to spare. It should be noted that each episode is so densely packed with razor-sharp jokes and pop culture references, that watching them all back-to-back could be a mentally exhausting experience.
One of the things I love about Frisky Dingo is that the short format is perfect for watching on an iPod or iPhone. I’m not likely to sit down and watch a 30-minute sitcom, much less a full-length movie, on a hand-held device (unless I’m on an airplane). But eleven minutes is just the right length for a bus ride across town, or my afternoon coffee break at Peets. I’m in the process of collecting some of the other Adult Swim titles that follow the same brisk format. So far, I’m really enjoying Harvey Birdman, Attorney At Law and look forward to digging into some Sealab 2021.
But for now, it’s all about Killface.
[Watch the Frisky Dingo pilot episode at AdultSwim.com]